AC/DC: back in black, highway to hell, who made who, if you

Techniques for getting your tone to tape.

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monsterwalley
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Re: AC/DC: back in black, highway to hell, who made who, if you

Post by monsterwalley » Fri Oct 16, 2009 10:23 pm

Good info.

Thanks Roe!!
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Re: AC/DC: back in black, highway to hell, who made who, if you

Post by zrAC/DC » Sat Oct 17, 2009 2:09 pm

I'm gonna actually be at the Buffalo show tomorrow. It seems their tone from Wilkes-Barre and Albany the last two times I saw them was drastically different, much more overdriven and louder at the Albany one, but when I get back I'll post some thoughts on the Buffalo show.
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Re: AC/DC: back in black, highway to hell, who made who, if you

Post by monsterwalley » Sat Oct 17, 2009 5:05 pm

I was supposed to see them in Kansas city last week. They ended up postponing the show. 5th row back next to the runway :(

I saw them on the first leg though.
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Re: AC/DC: back in black, highway to hell, who made who, if you

Post by zrAC/DC » Sat Oct 17, 2009 5:43 pm

I haven't had very good seats for any of the shows I went to. The opening show in Wilkes-Barre I was way off to the side of the stage and I could actually see the stuff going on behind the stage which was pretty neat, and then in Albany I was on the floor but way at the back left side. This show I'm in the nosebleeds but the tickets were half priced and I'll get to enjoy them again. I think they may as well be the best live band on the planet.
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Re: AC/DC: back in black, highway to hell, who made who, if you

Post by monsterwalley » Sat Oct 17, 2009 6:19 pm

zrAC/DC wrote: I think they may as well be the best live band on the planet.
+1 :wink:..... IMHO of course
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Re: AC/DC: back in black, highway to hell, who made who, if you

Post by zrAC/DC » Mon Oct 19, 2009 10:18 am

Thoughts of Buffalo: The show was really good and loud as usual! I noticed this at the Albany show, but the guitars break up like they have JJ preamp tubes and they seemed to lack some dimension to the sound, even though they were incredible! Brian's voice started to bother him around Anything Goes and the next few songs he had to sing an octave lower. Brian's voice was a lot rougher sounding than back in August and he sounded as if it was the 90's really rough gravelly sounding voice. They are just a great band and the crowd was cheering really loud and Ang extended his solo's quite a bit between each song.

The Answer has seemed to improve their live shows a bit, but I am still not a fan....
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Re: AC/DC: back in black, highway to hell, who made who, if you

Post by Roe » Sun Oct 25, 2009 5:39 am

Tour Profile: AC/DC

Jan 1, 2009 12:00 PM, By Gaby Alter

ROCK'S FINEST PUMP UP THE VOLUME
Most Popular

[...]

* Check out what's inside...
Digital Edition

AC/DC is, from left, Angus Young, Phil Rudd, Brian Johnson and Cliff William. Not pictured: Malcolm Young.

AC/DC is, from left, Angus Young, Phil Rudd, Brian Johnson and Cliff William. Not pictured: Malcolm Young.
Photos: Paule Saviano

“AC/DC is the best rock band there is,” enthuses front-of-house engineer Paul “Pab” Boothroyd. That means a lot coming from a man who's been Paul McCartney's live engineer for the past two decades, and whose list of clients includes Faith Hill and Paul Simon. Boothroyd has handled FOH duties for AC/DC since the band's 1996 Ballbreaker Tour, and he's back at the helm for their latest, the Black Ice World Tour, which promotes Black Ice, the group's first album in eight years.
ONLINE EXTRAS

WATCH:
Tour Photo Gallery

While there are a few moments of spectacle in the band's new show — including a giant train that appears to smash onto the stage, and some fireballs for their anthem “TNT” — the set showcases the band doing what they do best: playing raunchy, blues-based rock. “[They're] really like a pub band loud,” Boothroyd says. “That's where they stem from, that's where their roots are, and that's how they like to be. Nothing fancy, no celebrity status, just go out and rock to the fans.”
An Analog World

Complementing their classic sound, Boothroyd mixes on a Clair Global-provided Midas Pro40 vintage analog console that was originally built for Dire Straits in the mid-'80s. “It's a straightforward arena tour,” Boothroyd explains. “I've got my normal real-estate allocation of 12×12 or 16×12, so I can have a good analog desk with some racks of gear and look at [my mix as] old school because they are an old-school band.”

However, it's not all analog at FOH. While mixing on the Pro40, Boothroyd simultaneously runs the band's inputs through a Midas Pro-6 digital console to a multitrack recorder for archival purposes; the Midas can also serve as a backup board. “Taking out a vintage console like the Pro4, it did give me a few little worries that something could go wrong,” Boothroyd says. “The Midas Pro6 has got a great sound; comparing it to the Pro4, they are obviously different, but noticeably the 96k resolution and the treble frequencies are very sweet indeed.”

For outboard gear, Boothroyd uses Drawmer DS201 noise gates on the drums and a pair of dbx 160 Blues compressors on bass and guitars, and for vocal peaks: “They're just a fantastic, studio-quality transparent compressor that I've used on all sorts of things.” He also uses Massenburg EML 8200 EQs. “I just wanted to have a couple of settable, notchable EQs when Brian [Johnson, lead singer] walks out right into the middle of the audience [on a runway]. So you have to just be able to notch out a few of those ring-y frequencies.”

Monitor engineer Mike Adams has Johnson and drummer Phil Rudd on Ultimate UE-11 in-ears, which were decided on “because they have the horsepower it takes,” Adams says. “The decision was made that [they] would probably be the only product that would get over that kind of volume.“

In addition, the band has Clair Firehouse F-15 wedges, with EVX and XB's doing side-fills and zone-fills. “With ears and everything, I've got a total of 36 zones,” Adams says. “Everything is zoned out across the stage so that it can be tailored for any position of anybody moving about the stage with no problem.” Adams also mixes on an analog Midas desk, a Heritage 4000, to complement the group's old-school sound. His outboard gear comprises TC Electronic 1128 EQs and DDLs, Avalon 737 preamp/compressors, Eventide H3000s, Yamaha PCM 91 reverbs and Empirical Labs Distressors.
Miking Challenges

One of Boothroyd's hurdles is getting Johnson's vocals above the incredible volume of the band. “Brian isn't a very strong singer,” Boothroyd says. “Even a very strong vocalist would struggle with sitting on top of the level of the backline, which is measured at 120 dBs at [bassist] Cliff [William's] backing vocal position. But Brian does have a unique voice and you can sit it in the mix; you just have to be careful about how you place things.

“I've got a Summit TLA-100 tube on the vocal, which just helps me to punch his vocal forward more in the mix. The makeup gain on it is great: You give it a little tweak and you can hear it come forward in the mix, and the compression quality on it is very, very smooth.”
Monitor engineer Mike Adams (left) and FOH engineer Paul Boothroyd—mixers about to rock

Monitor engineer Mike Adams (left) and FOH engineer Paul Boothroyd—mixers about to rock

Johnson sings into a Shure SM58A, a microphone Boothroyd uses with many artists. “It's robust, and it does everything I need it to do. It's also good for the monitor engineer,” he explains. The backing vocals get 57As,“because we felt that the proximity effect of that particular mic was better [than the 58As].”

The drums are miked with Audix microphones: a D-6 on the kick (along with a Shure SM91), D-4s for the toms and two I-5s on snare top and bottom. “I just started to use [Audix mics] mainly on McCartney shows, and I felt like I immediately got a really great result without having to fiddle too much,” Boothroyd comments. There are also seven Audix Micro-Ds on the cymbals, which Boothroyd says help him to contain the sound. “It's so loud up there that you could never put a pair of overheads up to get some kind of cymbal splash going on,” he explains. “And it's a wide spread of cymbals so I mike each one individually, just to get that crash sound sitting in the mix. This show isn't about fidelity or subtleness; it's just about getting things placed in the mix very loud, very contained, hopefully controlled and that's it. Turn it up and duck.”

As for guitar amps, it's “Marshall, Marshall, Marshall, Marshall, 11, 11, 11, 11, loud, loud, lots of them,” Boothroyd says with a laugh. “There are about 20 [amp] cabinets up there. They are all flat-out — there's no gimmick here, They're there to spread guitar across the stage.” The cabinets have 100-watt Marshall heads, which have been tweaked by the tour's amp technician to run hotter than a standard amp. “This is okay — it just means you go through a lot of tubes, but it gives it that sound,” Boothroyd says. “I put one mic on one cabinet, an Audio-Technica 4047. I've tried various microphones, much to Malcolm [Young, rhythm guitarist] and Angus' [Young, lead guitarist] disgust because they'd be quite happy with just an SM57 on there. But I wanted to capture some other qualities, so I went for a slightly larger-diaphragm mic, and I found that the only one I really liked was the A-T 4047.”

A Clair EV X-Line line array system bolsters the heavy rock sound, with a hang eight wide by six deep, 10 i4s per side and 16 subs per side. “There's plenty of these ‘pencil’ P.A.s out there that sound great, no problem there,” Boothroyd says. “But this show is very theatrical, as well. The big P.A. is a great look for the band because the show is about sound — a lot of bright lights, a lot of loud sound, a lot of hot pyro. And so they were happy to start off where we left off from Stiff Upper Lip. [The band used that same P.A. setup for that tour.] The backline is exactly the same setup, down to the drum kit; even the rear sidefills are exactly identical from how we left off eight years ago. The only thing we're doing different now is using the Clair i4 side hangs to cover rear and sides of the venue. It's that with some subs underneath the stage — very straightforward.”

“The only challenge is to make sure that things stay in some sort of control,” Adams adds. “Sonically, the band is amazing — it's not like that's a problem — it's just that the sheer volume can create a lot of saturation. And I think that Pab and I work well with the synergy of it all.”

http://mixonline.com/live/tourprofiles/ ... file-acdc/
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Re: AC/DC: back in black, highway to hell, who made who, if you

Post by zrAC/DC » Wed Dec 09, 2009 8:25 pm

Any news about the Buenos Aires show? I heard that one is set aside for future DVD release?
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Re: AC/DC: back in black, highway to hell, who made who, if

Post by keano » Tue Oct 19, 2010 1:27 pm

For the Black in Black tone V30's weren't around which Angus seems to favor now. So what were in those cabs? 25watt Greenbacks? so if I wanted ot cop BIB ACDC a JTM50 and SLP would be best but not 100% on speakers.

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Re: AC/DC: back in black, highway to hell, who made who, if

Post by SoloDallas » Tue Oct 19, 2010 1:48 pm

I'd like to take a chance here to thank Roe (and George himself, for having this superb forum). I have been reading this post countless times.
Keano, I don't think a JTM50 could help you cover BiB tones. Maybe earlier stuff.
I think BiB was mostly late '70s JMPs. I have been studying AC/DC images related to early 1980 and the subsequent tour, and the amps are clearly visible, them being, JMPs in fact. I have spotted 2203s/2204s (one each for Angus and Malcolm) and what appear as either 1959s or 1987s.
Rumor has it - unproved for BiB - that Angus may have used a 1959 for all rhythm tracks and one 1987 for solos.

I have a thread here on this forum where I in fact attempted at replicating that sound - BiB with a 1976 JMP Super Lead (attenuated).
As for the speakers, naturally they are decisive to a realistic BiB tone.
My search has led me to believe that speakers used for Angus were either (or both!) G12Ms and G12H30s.

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Re: AC/DC: back in black, highway to hell, who made who, if

Post by zrAC/DC » Mon Aug 06, 2012 9:14 pm

Out of curiosity what mic's does anyone think were used on Ang and Mal's guitars in the High Voltage/TNT era? Also if I'm not mistaken some of the earliest recordings might be WASP amps?
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Re: AC/DC: back in black, highway to hell, who made who, if

Post by SoloDallas » Tue Aug 07, 2012 1:00 am

zrAC/DC wrote:Out of curiosity what mic's does anyone think were used on Ang and Mal's guitars in the High Voltage/TNT era? Also if I'm not mistaken some of the earliest recordings might be WASP amps?
I think U47s FET were used extensively by Vanda/Young at the time, for many applications including Bon's vocals AND guitars

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Re: AC/DC: back in black, highway to hell, who made who, if

Post by EFK » Tue Aug 07, 2012 8:57 pm

I think the Holden WASP thing is overblown. From Dirty Deeds on it was very clearly JMP and JMP Mk2 amps. The early pieces that became the High Voltage US release probably were black flag amps and maybe some 45/100 or something like that, combined with less polished recording. Also Angus early on used to solo with the neck pickup (you can not only hear it but you can see it in a few of the earliest video recordings) but seems to have given that up by the Dirty Deeds/Powerage era. You can easily get those early tones with black flag circuits, tube or diode rectified. So call me crazy but I think all of the Bon years recordings were all MArshall.

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Re: AC/DC: back in black, highway to hell, who made who, if

Post by SteadyEddie » Tue Aug 07, 2012 9:18 pm

JMP what? In the late 70s there were 1959s and 1987s, 2203 and 2204. That's just the heads, and they're all JMP.

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Re: AC/DC: back in black, highway to hell, who made who, if

Post by EFK » Wed Aug 08, 2012 9:36 pm

Probably all of them. By the late 70s it was likely predominantly 2203/2204, earlier on 1959/1987. Just go through all the vid footage and keep an eye on what they were using. From the 1974/75 recordings through the late 1970s and then the BiB album, Angus's tone got progressively brighter, harsher and dirtier and Malcom's also got progressively dirtier. My ideal tone is the High Voltage/Dirty Deeds era, Malcolm was still pretty darn clean and Angus's tone sounded thicker and not so shrill. I just don't think the oddball Aussie and NZ amps played any parts at all in the recordings, although I'm sure they used them very early on.

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